BTV Feature – What is the Best Exercise Ever?

September 22nd, 2014



Get more fit tips each week!


BTV Feature – Energy Boosting Breakfast Ideas

February 25th, 2014


BTV Feature – The Role & Benefit of Your Spotter

January 29th, 2014

The role of the spotter is to help you maintain your form and facilitate your full range of motion when completing a difficult exercise.

Who makes a good spotter?

– identify a person who can pay attention to you

– communicate to your spotter what your goals are .. how many reps? what weight do you want to be able to push?

Learn more with Coach V …

**Featured January 21, 2014.
Filming location: Acceleration Performance Centre
Demo models: Marlo and Chantal

Finding the Perfect Workout Partner

August 7th, 2013

Surrounding yourself with others who share your fitness goals are one of the keys factors of success when undergoing a transformation.  This is why partner training or seeing two people work out together is becoming more common to see.

Besides having someone to share your journey with, there are some distinct advantages to having a workout partner:

1.  Accountability.  We are more likely to show up at the workout facility when we have to meet someone there.  By being accountable to one another you prevent those instances of just staying home because you “didn’t feel like” working out.  Remember, success is doing the things that have to get done even when you don’t “feel like it”.  Your partner will push you through these times.
2.  Focused results.  When you have a partner who knows your workout style, strengths and challenging times, your partner can help push you past your limits – physically and mentally.  Instead of choosing your “comfortable” weight, your partner can push you to reach your strength and muscle building goals by getting you “uncomfortable”.  When it gets uncomfortable, smile, because your going in the right direction 🙂
3.  Support and motivation.  Feel like going on a weekend binge?  How about those hard times when family functions filled with all of your favorite calorie filled, nutrient-less desserts confront you?  Rely on your workout partner to help support you when you feel overhwhelmed.
Unfortunately, the same workout partner- if not chosen wisely –can lead to some very frustrating outcomes and poor results.  How?
1.  Scheduling woes.  You have them.  Friends, family members who tell you they will work out with you, then on the day, they cancel or change times sometimes don’t even show up.
2.  Knowledge of proper workout design.  This is a personal trainer nightmare.  The friends that stack the weight and tell you to lift heavier and harder… Or the partners that let you choose your weight and stand beside you dilly dallying on their phone instead of watching your form or mindframe.
3.  Competitive streaks may trigger.  Don’t get me wrong, competition can be healthy but oftentimes we find too much competition results in inaction, injury or stressed relationships.  Think about those partners who “used to be able to bench over 2 hundred” then turns beet red and short of break during weight stacking!
How to Choose the Right Workout Partner
If you want fast results, this means making smarter choices.  It’s not an easy process but one that you should systematically begin to test.  You want your partner to move your forward in your transformation which means there are certainly trial and error moments.  Listen to Coach V share tips on how to go about finding one.  When you do, this is what has to happen next:
Step 1.  Know each others goals and set a plan.  Whether your goal is to finish a half marathon, compete in a triathlon or look good for a special event, share that with your partner.  Part of having a workout partner is to share your journey and this is a great start to being the best resource for one another.
Step 2.  Stay consistent and supportive.  Hold each other to the commitment and stick to the plan; this means keeping appointments, encouraging clean eating and enjoying each other’s company help minimize the stress of everyday life.
Step 3.  Take advantage of a personal trainer by splitting the costs to learn proper form, get partner workout ideas and best resources for nutrition guidance.  The more you surround yourself with fit and positive people, the faster and beautiful your transformation will be.
Found your workout partner and want some help moving forward?  Contact HLF today to learn about our small group training packages.

BTV Feature – Build a Better Butt, Know Your Body Type

July 13th, 2013

BTV Feature – Fat Burning Exercises

June 3rd, 2013

5 Reasons People Gain Weight on Vacation

May 7th, 2013

Vacations and out of town business ventures are a time to get away from the grind of everyday life – to indulge mind and body in relaxation and enjoyment.  And after this week’s snowfall in Winnipeg, I would NOT be surprised that you are looking for another get away trip!  And with WesJet promoting an inventory clear out sale right now, I am definitely planning the next get away!

Unfortunately all that indulgence can typically lead to a pound gained for each day away.

To help you combat these unwanted pounds and body fat, I’ve identified the 5 main reasons that we can gain weight on vacation, as well as a strategic plan of avoidance.

Reason #1: Not Having A Plan

Let’s face it, the vacation mindset is a set-up for gaining pounds. Your priority is to relax, and for most that means eating, resting and forgetting the gym.

But then I hear you tell me over and over again, “I don’t have time to work out!” WHAAAT!?! What better time to try new fitness programs than while away?

Your best line of defense is to keep your fitness goals at the forefront of your mind.

Your Plan: Before you leave for your trip, sit down and set a goal.

A realistic goal is to maintain your current weight or to lose a pound or two.  The next step is to identify ways to meet this goal.  Whether it be to exercise daily, eat clean for two meals of each day or even just to ensure 3 litres of water with lemon for every day away.

The simple act of bringing your fitness goal to mind before leaving on your trip will greatly reduce your chances of coming home heavier.

Reason #2: Indulgent Snacking

There’s nothing like a vacation to cause you to throw all caution to the wind with indulgent snacking.

Ice cream in the middle of the day, frozen coffee drinks topped with whipped cream, salty bags of chips and even a visit through a famous fast food drive thru.

While these snacks may be fun, the damage will quickly catch up to you.

Your Plan: Approach your trip with the strategy of indulging with control.

If you really must have a sweet treat, then make it small and follow it up with a balanced, protein-filled meal.

Another way to reduce indulgent snacking is to bring along your own healthy options.

Fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, trail mix, health bars, and cut  up veggies are a good start.

By filling up on these healthy snacks you will end up eating less when presented with a sweet or salty treat.

Reason #3: Forgetting Portion Control

You have no choice but to dine out while on vacation and whether you’re visiting 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you’re going to face the same problem: large portions.

While the easiest thing to do with a big plate of food is to simply eat it all—you are on vacation after all…right?—that isn’t the best for your waist.

Your Plan: Decide here and now that you will not indulge in large portions.

When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box. Take half of your meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat.

This gives you no choice but to eat a healthy portion.

If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then share with company or ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entrée.

Reason #4: Eating Too Late

Who really wants to go to bed early while on vacation? The days stretch long and undoubtedly end with a nice big dinner.

All these calories, eaten right before bed, will quickly land around your waist.

Your Plan: Simply stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed.

This easy trick is especially effective while on vacation.

So skip that late night indulgence and wake up looking and feeling great.

Reason #5: Not Exercising Enough (Or At All)

Oh, groan, do I really have to exercise while on vacation?”

Yes, you do! That is if you want to look and feel younger and more alive.

Too often exercise is looked at as work, but vacations are the perfect time to really enjoy a good workout.

You won’t be rushing home, trying to squeeze in a few minutes at the gym, but rather the vacation workout can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Your Plan: Look at vacation workouts as a treat, and make it a priority.

Here are some ideas:

  • Virtually every hotel these days has some type of workout room equipped with cardio machines, dumbbells and a universal machine, so make good use out of it.
  • Vacations are also a great time to take your workout outdoors; take a run on the beach or do sprints, pushups and crunches on a grassy field. If you want more ideas of workouts you can do using just your body weight then give me a call or send me an email.
  • Make a conscious effort to be active everyday. Go on a brisk walk after your day’s activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off extra calories. Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit.
  • Go on a short jog in the mornings or evenings of your stay. If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each morning or evening.

The Importance of Tracking Your Progress

May 1st, 2013

What led me to writing today was a conversation I had with a client a few weeks ago.  Since that day, I haven’t been able to get our talk out of my mind, mainly because I know there are other people who are likely in the same mental state as she was in … maybe even you.

It started off something like this…

Me:  what is the main outcome you want to achieve from this fitness transformation journey?

Her: I want to lose 30lbs so that I can feel good about myself again

Me:  what have you done so far?

Her:  I’ve been running on the treadmill every day, eating less food and drinking more water

Me:  so you’re losing weight?

Her:  I was losing 2 pounds a week for the last month but I went to a social a few weeks ago and now my weight is higher than before!!  I’m freaking out.  I’ve stopped eating dinner, increased my cardio time this past week and still, nothing!  The scale won’t budge! Arggh!!

Sound familiar?

This is the 95% of those who try and try but fail to get into their best bodies yet.  Fortunately, YOU are on the HLF team which means you are smarter than this and know that doing the same thing over and over again defines insanity.

You KNOW that in order to measure your success, success must first be measured!  Tracking your progress is more than just the number on the scale.

By tracking your body composition in more than one way, you can use other success measures besides weight to determine if what you are doing is working or not working for you.

Now, before I get into metrics and talk more about how to measure your success, I want to stress this first.  Do NOT track everything every. Single. Day.  Our bodies are a product of mother nature and as you already know …. anything can happen at any time of the day and night.  I am not advocating for unhealthy OCD behaviour.  Trust me, I know what that is.  You do NOT want to be in that state of mind.

I suggest you track your progress once a week, preferably at the same time and under the same circumstances.  Take yourself back to those science experiments, except this time, YOU are the test subject.  I would also recommend that if you know that the weekends are going to be your roughest days to stay on track, pick a Friday to record your progress.  This way, you know you have a full week to stay on course and see long term changes.

Here are the steps to start measuring your success, starting NOW:

Step #1.  Take a Picture

Stand in front of a mirror in a bathing suit or shorts and take a picture.  To duplicate before and after pictures, take note of the lighting used, how far you stood from the camera/mirror and what time of day you took the picture.  Do a front, side, back and other side shot.  You might not like what you see now, but THAT IS FINE.  This day is your STARTING point, not your end point so take the picture and file it away.  Repeat every week.

Step #2.  Measure

If you don’t already have one, buy a body tape measure.  Take a circumference measurement and note exactly where to measure each week.  I use 5 inches above my elbows and the top of my knees to measure my upper arms and thighs first then move on to measuring my chest, waist and hips.

Step #3.  Log your Food

Repeat after me … out loud.  You CANNOT out train a bad diet.  A major part of your success will be a direct result of how and what you eat.  I am a big advocator of pen to paper but I do know there are other great resources out there.  Weight Watcher points.  The Fitness Pal app even SparkPeople come in handy.  If you eat out a lot, you’ll have to do a bit more research as well.

I know, I know.  It’s a sore pain in the ass to record every single bite eaten from the time you wake up to the minute you sleep.  But this logging ALONE could be one of the most revealing, eye opening experiences you need to get on the fast track to success.

Here’s a tip.  The fastest transformers eat the same few meals over and over again on a weekly basis, track their progress and adjust until they reach their success goals.

Step #4.  Plan and Track your Workouts

Stop wandering around the gym walking from one piece of equipment to the next.  If you are serious about making changes to your body and getting into your best beautiful self, you need to start paying attention to your workouts, designing the right workout plan and recording your status.

So after we laid out the game plan for the next 9 months, she’s been hard at work ever since.  It hasn’t been an easy road and that’s why I wanted to talk to you about this today.

Your appearance is a consequence of your fitness and if you are focusing on getting stronger, faster, sexier, more able to keep up with the kids and/or just want to look and feel good in your clothes and in the mirror, then start tracking your progress.

But sooner or later, you will encounter that “this sucks” feeling.  Stuck in a rut and hard to get out.

And when that happens, that’s when Higher Level Fitness is here to get you unstuck.

We are excited to start implementing our new resources and tools to take your fitness to the next level! 

  • Are you even ready for change?
  • Want to know if your kitchen needs a makeover?
  • Is your support system helping or hindering your progress?
  • Do you want to accurately track fat loss and muscle gain without the use of calipers?
  • Want to know how your body shape influences your transformation process?

Book your body composition and shape analysis today.

Don’t let nothing stop you from achieving your definition of success.


Committed to YOUR success,

BTV Feature – Overtraining Your Body

April 1st, 2013

BTV Feature – Making Whole Baby Food

February 21st, 2013